Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Age of Parity

posted by BiCoastal Bias

It is official; the gross disparity that maligned professional sports for the last two decades is over.  The 80’s and 90’s were defined by the 49ers, the Cowboys, the Bulls, the Lakers, and of course the Yankees.  

But now that the Clippers have advanced to (and exited from) the second round of the playoffs, and the last five World Series have been won by five different teams not from New York, we can openly recognize a new era.  Looking at the current scoreboard, 3 of the 4 teams still left in the NBA playoffs have never won the Finals, with the Detroit Pistons on the brink of elimination as the lone previous champ.  The Detroit Tigers are the team to beat in the American League, with surprising teams like Arizona, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee making impacts on the National League.  

Sure we’re just coming off of a New England Patriots dynasty, but the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks are suddenly the two teams with the biggest upsides.  

What’s interesting is that this surge of perennial losers into the postseason picture in every sport hasn’t come at the demise of the old favorites.  The Yankees are still a juggernaut, but have slowly lost the ability to win the big games.  Both the Bulls and Lakers have already collapsed and rebounded again.  The NFL has shown itself to be toughest league to stay on top of, with the 49ers and Cowboys being mockeries of their old selves, and teams going from first to worst the most frequently.

The only problem is that there are still plenty of teams that aren’t reaping the benefits of this newfound fairness.  But it’s looking more and more (to me at least) that these teams are their own worst enemies.  It doesn’t take a payroll in the top quarter to compete, but you probably can’t make it with one in the bottom quarter.  And no matter what market you are in, putting a competitive team on the field will pay off eventually.  

Did you hear about the Kansas City Royals fan who sold his allegiance on Ebay?  I don’t blame him.  I think his friends are still playing poker with it now . . .

Monday, May 29, 2006

American Hero

posted by IntrinsicBent

We at Sports Frappe wish you and yours a very Happy Memorial Day.

With our service men and women serving in harm’s way, this holiday serves as a reminder of the sacrifice of so many so that the rest of us can have so much. Opportunity and freedom have come at a very high cost price for many. Like the song says, “All gave some…….some gave all.”

Regardless how you may feel about politics, the war, or a myriad of other social topics, gratitude is necessary to all who have ever sacrificed life, body, family, or comfort so we can be free. Sometimes this is a freedom to be flawed.

Pat Tillman is an American hero. He was not only heroic on the football field where he played safety for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s a hero in the way he stood up for what he believed in.

He gave up fame, fortune, and family to serve his country as an Army Ranger. Many did not believe he could pass the rigorous requirements it took to become a Ranger. But pass them he did, and he volunteered to serve in the hottest region in the world at the time, Afghanistan.

As you know, this story does not end well, with Tillman being killed by friendly fire from other Rangers. Then the Army seemed to try to cover up the facts and use Pat Tillman’s death to their benefit. His family still believes that they don’t have all the facts.

These facts do not dim the mammoth heart and conviction that made Pat Tillman who he was. Because of who he was in sports, his story forces us to think about the many heroic people who have lost life and limb for those of us at home. As stupid as it may be, we feel like we know Pat Tillman a bit. Hopefully we make the connection that the headlines of faceless names of other service people are all heroes and worthy of our support, love, and prayers.

Who Can I Blame?

posted by MoneyMouth

One of things that I love just as much as sports is fantasy sports. Since being introduced to this new world of electronic competition five years ago, I’ve been hooked. The statistical rundowns, the speculations on who’s hot and who’s not, and the sweet taste of victory keep bringing me back season after season.

The only problem with this wonderful universe is the inverse relationship between how much I love the sport and my success in the fantasy realm of the sport. For instance, each season I drag my feet into a basketball league with some friends because I can’t stand to watch the NBA and each season I find myself in the top tier of the league. Unfortunately, this means I of course dive right into fantasy baseball with glee and excitement and only to find out that I have the ability to manage a team right into the ground just about as well as Isaiah Thomas.

So this baseball season, to help turn around my failures, I did my research. I bought the magazines, read everything on I could find, and went against every single piece of intuition I had. And where do I find myself 9 weeks into the season? Last. Dead last.

However, this year I can lay all my frustrations and grief on one person: Peter Gammons. That’s right. I’m calling out the king of baseball analysis himself. All Spring training I listened to Gammons for any hints I could get on who to draft this year in my keeper league and time and time again he told me Bobby Crosby would be the AL MVP this season. A bold statement no doubt, but I slurped it up like a fool.

Now I’m stuck with a shortstop who is batting a meager .232 with 6 Hr, 20 RBI, and 19 Runs. Hardly MVP numbers Mr. Gammons. This season, the blame rests on your shoulders. I’ll be sending you my last place trophy in the mail; you’ve earned it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Barry Bonds Knows No French

posted by IntrinsicBent

You all know by now that the Sports Frappe is not a portal that tries to link to every sports story on the web. There are plenty of those sites out there.

So you know if I drop homework on you it’s for a good reason. You have to read this article in it’s entirety. It’s a must read. We’ll wait for you to finish……………………………………………..

Welcome back. Is that amazingly preposterous, or what? I read it and literally went, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHAHAHA” out loud. It’s probably a good thing I was by myself.

This article, as entertaining as it is, is too easy to shoot holes in. The first and only thing I really need to say to prove this is a sham is to point out that this guy claims to be friends with Bonds, Barry Bonds. Uhh, Barry Bonds has no friends.

I could drop my mike and walk off the stage victorious.

But there are other nice whimsical nuggets I want to make fun of.

If this guy was a personal friend of Barry’s the next conversation he had after this article would definitely top my “fly on the wall” list. If this guy actually was Bonds’ friend, that’s done after this report. One of the few things I do know about Barry is that he’s not that fond of reporters. The other thing is that he doesn’t care for details of his life to be shared. Assuming the reporter was legit, his membership in the Barry’s Buddy Club organization would have been revoked immediately.

Here’s a life lesson Frappies. It pertains to “I knew that guy in High School/College” tales. If you have to tell a hanger on story about having gone to High School with someone famous, you lose. That may hurt, but someone has to care enough to tell you. Just don’t do it. That’s why you were given a life. It’s even worse if you report, “I gave my old friend Barry a call.” I’m laughing out loud again.

So Barry is going after Sadaharu Oh’s homerun “record” of 868? I don’t think even Barry could dis the best homerun hitter ever who hit 755 could he? That’s almost believable. That be like John Stockton chasing a guy in the Italian basketball league with the assist record and looking past Magic Johnson.

Barry holds the record at his High School for most pieces of gum chewed? Wow! That’s a record I can wrap myself around right there. I do not, nor do I ever desire to understand the ruler part of the story. Don’t fixate on it and it should go away. With some counseling.

“I’ve never cared about records, anyway.” Then why drop an expletive towards Hank and target Oh? Not that believable, is it?

I cannot get with Barry dropping a French comparison to his physical issues. It just didn’t happen. What is the French word for bogus? Plus, it’s pane not pain.

I think.

Nice try Kip Hornsly. Better luck next time. The whole “Whatever Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas” routine does not work once you put it on the internet.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Around The Bore

posted by IntrinsicBent

I’m flying to Virginia as I write this via the preferred airline of the Frappe, JetBlue.

Not willing to watch friggin’ poker and having done the loop on ESPN sports like 7 times, I settle in on a show that is new (to me) on ESPN called Around The Horn.

I’ll admit upfront that if I need solid sports takes, I either ask myself, or head to the Frappe to see what my colleagues think. After about 4 minutes of this show, I rededicated myself to this practice.

Where do I start? First, the host is like a young Jim Rome wannabe that sits with his head slightly cocked and emits an air of “I know it all because I won a neighborhood Lawn Dart tournament one time.”

He throws up softball questions like, “LeBron James, good player?” and “Who’s to blame, Pierzynski or Barrett? This dude makes Knowledge Droppings sound like Bob Costas. By the way, does anyone know if Knowledge Drops still works at the Frappe?

Then the sportswriter hacks sound off on these “tough” questions which really means they start trying (too hard) to be funny and sound knowledgable. They also do the fake anger interrupt yelling at other heads while they’re stating their case.

The weirdest part was that I kept hearing this annoying clicking sound while these guys were talking. At first I looked at the lady next to me thinking she was playing with a jack in the box or something. When I looked back to the TV screen, I notice that the tick/clicking coincided with a small number at the corner of the talking head’s cube that seemed to be some sort of scoring. It was random……..very random. I could only guess that Yard Dart guy was controlling this point scoring melee. Seriously, WWE has a lot of integrity in comparison to how these points were being doled out.

I’d like to end my report positively by giving you some redeeming nugget that makes this show worth an investment of time. The truth is, I turned the channel. Terminator was not on, so I watched a cooking show and then part of TLC’s Little People, Big World.

I feel like I came out ahead in the deal.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Reporting From The Playoffs

posted by IntrinsicBent

Not actually from……….unless you consider a 52” screen and HDTV close enough. I do. And I’m having my CPA check to see if it is tax deductible for sports journalists.

This year’s NBA playoffs have produced all kinds of twists, turns, and wrinkles. Since I know you’ve been waiting for my opinion, I’ll give you a few.

  • Has Shawn Marion always looked like a Tyrannasaurus Rex when he shoots? How did I miss that? I keep expecting to hear that shrill screech ala Jurassic Park whenever he lets one fly. And what about that rumor that the Suns will be packaging Marion in a trade before next season?

  • Have you ever noticed that you don’t see Chris Kaman and Tom Petty together? Do you think they might be the same person? Just wonderin’.

  • How did the Spurs age 10 years since the end of the regular season?

  • Elton Brand. Playoffs MVP if they were over now.

  • Jason Terry has a bright future as a boxer or MMA fighter. Dude can punch a bag. His timing is suspect though.

  • Rasheed Wallace’s future as Rasheed Nostrawallace isn’t panning out. Sheed we want smack, and then we want that smack backed up.

  • LeBron James. The second time this week I’ve regurged one of BiCoastal’s genius takes. LeBron is not the next Air, or an heir at all. He’s his own man. Barring injuries, this guy will be the best ever. His age to accomplishment ratio is mind numbing.

  • If the Finals came down to San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, would you have to throw Senior in the title (Senior NBA Playoffs), or Legends (Legends NBA Playoffs)? Legends is a more polite terming of the same notion.

  • Avery Johnson has had an amazing inaugural first season as a coach. Now, can he coach the Mavs into not being the Mavs during the 7th game against Spurs?

That’s it from your lovable NBA Correspondent. Hand me the remote.

The Final Viking

posted by MoneyMouth

While I was at home this past week, I was lucky enough to have the luxury of TiVo at my fingertips. I immediately sought out Viking: the Ultimate Obstacle Course Challenge and set it to “record series.” If you haven’t caught an episode of the Viking since my last post, then you are missing out on a cross cultural phenomenon that might be giving the World Cup a run for its money.

Thankfully, I was able to catch the 3rd and final Viking stage while I was home. After watching the final Viking, I have to tip my hat to Fuji Televion because they have created a near impossible obstacle course. The third Viking stage has 3 obstacles. The first obstacle, the Heartbreaker, can be described as series of planks, both vertical and horizontal, on which the contestant must climb on the underside and then finally jump from one vertical plank to another situated 7 feet away. Needless to say, this is no easy challenge. In fact, only one contestant, Makoto Nagano (a 33 year old commercial fisherman), has ever cleared it.

Now, if that wasn’t hard enough, the 2nd obstacle is a 50 foot horizontal peg board which the contestant must traverse using two movable pegs. The catch is that they can only place their pegs in the Viking letters which is spelled out across the board. Once again, Makoto Nagano takes the glory on this obstacle.

Finally, if the contestant hasn’t thrown up by this point, he must face the final obstacle: a 75 foot horizontal rope climb followed by at 30 foot vertical rope climb. And for good measure, he has to do it in under a minute and forty seconds. Not even the Japanese wonder Makoto Nagano could conquer this bad boy. In fact, I’m not even sure a Marine could beat this obstacle course.

Once again, the Viking has left me wanting more. I want to know if it’s even feasible for someone to conquer the Viking. It’s time to spread this competition outside Japanese borders and make this into an international competition. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the first to succeed will be Icelander Magnus Ver Magnuson—the World’s Strongest Man. If he can’t do it, then no one can.

Punk Spelled With a Z

posted by MoneyMouth

It’s strange how some people always find themselves as the center of attention and controversy. Today, A.J. Pierzynski took another step up the ladder of punk status. He’s been called a cancer, found cheap ways to get on base (ALCS Game 2), and now he’s doing everything he can to surpass Bonds on MLB’s most hated list by continuing to taunt and then play the innocent card. It’s almost as if the guy is trying to become what Lindsay Lohan is to US Weekly.

In case you missed today’s cross town showdown between the Cubs and White Sox, Pierzynski mowed over Michael Barrett at the plate which then resulted in some fisticuffs. Let me first say I love plays at the plate. It’s a chance to see who’s got guts and what catchers can hold their own. Benji Molina is one of my favorites because most of the time the runner ends up on the DL. In this particular play at the plate, I was not disappointed as Pierzynski arrived a foot in front of the throw and sent Barrett tumbling on his back. No foul there. However, it proceeded to get ugly as Pierzynski slapped his hand on the plate and then proceeded to bump into Barrett as Barrett was trying to stand up. As you can imagine, such a gesture can cause some beef. While I would have gone for his throat, Barrett chose the more old-fashioned approach with a nice clean clock the chin. Not bad. I think it sends an equivalent message to a choke slam.

What bugs me most about Pierzynski is his reaction after all of this. No matter what the case, he always finds a way to make himself look like the victim. After being ejected from the game, he raises his hands up in an effort to pump up the crowd showing that he’s not hurt. Then in the press conference afterwards he says, “I’m still not sure what happened…I was trying to pick up my helmet.” Seriously, the side-stories are getting old. This one is just about as good as when I told my dad I didn’t mean to light the firecracker off in the backyard and that I just wanted to pretend I was going to. My dad didn’t believe that one for very long, and neither does Barrett nor the rest of baseball.

We all see through the act, Pierzynski; just start acting like the real punk that you are.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


posted by IntrinsicBent

The most important aspect of the number 714 is that it is my area code.

714 was very important when Hank Aaron was chasing Babe Ruth’s career home record………………………….when I was a kid.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the media is freaking on it and having “Chasing The Babe” watches and analysis as Bonds, Barry Bonds looks to break the SECOND place record of 714 held by the Babe.  

During last night’s ESPN post game coverage of the Spurs and Mavericks’ playoff game I was forced to cut away to watch Bonds whiff at the plate.

Today, while sneaking some sports talk radio into my weekend, I listened as Fox Sports broke in with a special announcement.  Are the martians attacking?  Did Rasheed Wallace make another ridiculous statement?   Did the Angels have another clubhouse row?  

No, Bonds hit a homer against the A’s and tied the Babe’s SECOND place record.  How can I best put this?............Yawwwwnnnnn.  There, I think that sums it up.

I mean the significance is the same as being geeked because your horse passed the nag in 2nd position in the Kentucky Derby to hold that non trophy over your head.  Do you remember the name of the horse that came in second?  If you do, you’re ill.  Maybe it’s a bad example, cuz now to think of it, I don’t know who took first, or poll, or the cup, or whatever they call it.  But you get my drift.

The only number that matters on the subject of career home runs is 755.  Trust me, you will not see this record broken within the next 5 years.  It will take Pujols about another 12 – 15 years (that’s a wild butt guess math majors, so save the emails schooling me on his actual pace.) to make this race interesting again.

Friday, May 19, 2006

You Don't Need a "C" to Be Captain

posted by BiCoastal Bias

My Halos lost a tough one last night, an 8-4 defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th inning, their 14th loss in 19 games. After the game, the press overheard Darin Erstad shouting from the clubhouse, “This is going to stop right ... now! There's going to be no finger-pointing, I don't care who you are. It's over. If we go down, we're all going down together. We're going to pull for everybody. No talking behind anyone's back. Let's pull for each other. Let's go!"

The Associated Press called this an “embarrassing incident.”

I’m sorry, did I miss something? Losing 75% of your last 20 games is embarrassing, but a little shouting in the locker room after the game? This actually makes me quite proud to be an Angel fan.

Darin Erstad is a legitimate team captain. He wasn’t named as such by the management, and he doesn’t wear a “C” on his jersey, and he’s not the best bat in the lineup. But for whatever reason, the Angels listen to his voice, even right now while he’s on the disabled list. In the spring of 2001, in the wake of the trade to send Mo Vaughn off to the Mets, Troy Percival was asked if the team would miss his leadership. His response was that this is Darin Erstad’s team, and that this was always Darin Erstad’s team. From this outside perspective, there's been no evidence that his leadership has ever been questioned since. And why would it be questioned? As you can see from his speech above, his style has always been to call everyone back to the fold, as opposed to singling out and alienating individuals.

It’s hard to imagine Erstad playing for anyone else next season, but looking at his salary and the Angels front office record, it’s hard to imagine him playing for the Angels either. He’s a unique personality in a time when team captains are named more for the media’s purpose than they’re actual influence on their teammates. At the close of 2002, Alex Rodriguez was named team captain of the Texas Rangers by owner Tom Hicks to quiet the trade rumors that were running rampant that December. Less than a month later, A-Rod was shaking hands with George Steinbrenner and holding up his new pinstripes. Jason Varitek wears the “C” for the BoSox, and while I don’t question his role as captain, this scarlet letter happened to be given to him during his contract renegotiation phase.

Not all teams can be so lucky as the Angels and Erstad, but I can only hope our luck lasts beyond 2006.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Boo: It Could Be Worse

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Jeff Weaver was booed off of the mound on Sunday.  You east coast fans might not see the significance of this, and luckily Weaver played in New York so he’s probably used to it.  But over in Anaheim, it’s rare we boo our own players.

Booing is considered by many to be low class, or distasteful, especially booing your own team.  And while I don’t disagree with that, I also can’t deny the fact that Weaver deserved to get booed on Sunday, especially in the context of what a miserable season he’s had.  In fact, in some way, I feel like my booing helped get him off of the mound earlier, and in that respect, helped my team!

If I’m going to give a standing ovation to Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera turning the best double play I’ve ever seen in person, then I’m also going to react audibly when Weaver gives up 4 homeruns in less than 4 innings.  Nobody is suggesting that the crowd ought to be a whole lot quieter at games.

Unfortunately, booing is our only option at this point.  Sometime in the 1800’s, fans experimented with “hissing” as a replacement; but it was decided that implying that a player is a snake is probably worse than a unified “booo” sound.  

So if you’ve got other ideas, please let them be known.  But for now, there’s really only one way to voice our displeasure.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Wag of the Finger

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I spent Mother’s Day at the ballpark.  (Don’t worry, my mom was with me.  I was only in town for the weekend, so we had to multitask.)  Anyhow, as I entered the stadium, I was stopped by an employee who asked me, “Sir, would you like a ladies tote bag?”  I took a second to think about such a proposal, and naturally replied, “No.”  Then his supervisor, a woman in a pant suit, butted in with a smirk, “Excuse me sir, are you sure you don’t want a ladies tote bag?”

To understand this confrontation, we’re going to have to back up a year and unfold this story Tarantino-style.  You see, last year, the Angels of Anaheim did a Mother’s Day promotion in which every woman of adult age was given a free tote bag.  As a result, earlier this week Michael Cohn filed a lawsuit against the team, claiming “unfair treatment” because he didn’t get a freebie based on his gender.

Now flash forward to today, the pant suit’s smirk and emphasis on the word “ladies” makes sense.  I can only hope Michael Cohn was there to accept his gift, and humiliation, as all the dudes around him muttered, “Who would want a ladies tote bag?”

The Sports Frappe gives a WAG OF THE FINGER to Michael Cohn.  But to pant suit lady, we award you with a WINK AND A NOD; it was clear what you were doing, and we liked it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Some Sort of ESPN Conspiracy

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Has anyone else noticed that ESPN has taken on a very pro-Barry Bonds stance in this young baseball season?  And I’m not talking about the show “Bonds on Bonds.”  From what I understand, this is just a chance for Bonds to speak for himself; a gracious opportunity given by this media outlet, but a move that doesn’t require them to take one side or the other since all of the words are Bonds’ own.  

What I am talking about is programming such as the following.  ESPN 2’s Friday night lineup consisted of three of Sportscenter’s crew sitting around a desk discussing various MLB topics, waiting to take the audience live to each of Bonds’ at bats that evening.   When the three ran out of things to say, they simply ran a recorded loop of their first half hour, still waiting on each of Bonds’ plate appearances.  

This does not even come close to passing Intrinsic’s Terminator Test, but more to the point, why didn’t they just broadcast the actual game?  I must have a lot to learn about the complexities of acquiring the television rights to professional sporting events.  Nonetheless, by only showing Bonds’ at bats, they gave the distinct impression that whatever he was doing was too important to be muddied by the details of the game itself.  This is while he is still two homeruns away from tying Babe Ruth, he wasn’t even in danger of tying the record at any point!

It doesn’t end there.  While watching the Sunday afternoon rendition of Baseball Tonight, I was first shown a video collage of all the different names of pitchers that Bonds has taken yard.  Although I love the clever word play involved, this barrage of Bonds’ bombs was totally unprovoked.  Next was a commercial break.  Upon return, we had a short discussion of the effect of Moises Alou’s injury on the San Francisco offense, followed by a recap of everything Barry did that week, followed by another video montage of all of Bonds’ benchmark homeruns.  

Even if Bonds was as beloved as Kirby Puckett, this would still be unnecessary.  He’s still two homeruns shy of tying Babe Ruth for second on the all time list.  At this rate, he’ll take another two weeks to reach this feat, so are we really going to have to put up with this excessive coverage for that long?

And of course, Bonds is far from beloved.  While I’m not really sure what ESPN’s goal is, if they are trying to win the public over to liking or simply respecting Bonds, they are failing.  Seeing Bonds on the TV every night just reminds everyone how much they hate the guy.  If America is ever going to come to a place of ambivalence about Bonds, they still need some time apart.  It’s not like moving from third to second on the record board is worthy of this much coverage anyways.  Just show us the replay of when it actually happens, flash to a graphic showing the all time leader board, and then give us a Peter Gammons sound bite explaining why this is such a big deal.  

Follow the old George Costanza dating philosophy of “less is more.”  Then maybe, just maybe, by the time Bonds is on the heels of Hank Aaron, (and I’m starting to doubt this time will come), we’ll be ready to appreciate him . . . if by appreciate him we really mean that we won’t boo him quite as profusely.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

As It Was Written

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Well Frappers, I am happy to announce that the Chosen One has finally arrived. If you have watched any of the Cleveland vs. Washington playoff series, you’ve seen too many of the prophecies fulfilled to ignore. Whoever said that the first round of the NBA playoffs is useless? In case you missed them, let me fill you in on the top 3 signs that LeBron James has come to save us from the era ruled by the evil one known as “Kobe.”

He will walk without traveling. It’s quite phenomenal, really. I’ve never seen anyone take 4 steps without committing a violation as LeBron did in Game 3. When asked about it after the game, LeBron said that he didn’t travel, and in fact, he doesn’t even know how to travel!!! Most of us, when learning how to play the game of basketball, had to learn how to overcome the natural instinct of walking while carrying the basketball. But not the Chosen One, he was born to dribble.

He will be given the baseline whenever he wants. This one was fulfilled during Game 5. Seriously, for two defenders to both allow him that lane could have only happened if he has some sort of mystical control over the cosmos. And he makes it look so easy! I feel like there is a little LeBron inside of me who could have made that layup.

No razor will touch his neck. Any man old enough to have to shave knows what a pain the neck region can be. Somehow, the Chosen One actually looks smooth while only shaving his upper face. The rest of us have dreamed of making this extreme version of the chinstrap socially acceptable, and now we have the Chosen One who gives us hope, that maybe, just maybe, we’ll only have to shave our cheeks.

Those are the most obvious three, but I'm sure LeBron will continue to perform miraculous feats. I think it’s also written somewhere that the Chosen One will be mocked and scorned by the Detroit Pistons, so prepare yourself for that possibility.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Focus In

posted by IntrinsicBent

It’s good to see that USC’s wonder boy, Matt Leinart is zeroing in on what he needs to do to make it big as a QB in the NFL.

Before dropping out of the single digit draft selections Saturday and going 10th to the Arizona Cardinals, Leinart concentrated on his career by firing his agent last minute and hiring representation best known for representing well grounded entertainment “professionals”.

Ok, now that one’s checked off. What should I do now to ensure success on the next level?

I’ve got it…………………..I’ll date Paris Hilton. There won’t be any distractions there.

I think Matt’s next focus factor should be to have a camera and production crew follow him around to capture his rookie experience.

And then he should start a band. Or cut a rap CD.

Doing all three would be the ultimate in reality television.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Odd Events

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Today was a day of ironic pairings.  The respective wives of Shaq and Kobe gave birth only hours apart.  Perhaps their daughters will grow up to build and destroy some WNBA dynasty.

Okay, the real ironic pairing of the sporting day occurred at Fenway Park.  Two players returned to Yawkey Way, one wearing a Yankees uniform, the other wearing a uniform he changed into while being escorted from the airport.  Yes, the only thing that could possibly out shadow Johnny Damon’s first game back in Boston as a Yankee was a trade with the San Diego Padres to bring Doug Mirabelli back.  If that doesn’t seem like a big enough deal to you, get this: tonight’s starting catcher’s plane from San Diego touched down in Boston at 6:48 p.m., where he was whisked away by a state trooper, who conveniently had his full uniform in the back seat.  Just as Jason Varitek was about to start warming up Tim Wakefield, Mirabelli emerged from the tunnel in full gear, just in time for the 7:05 start.

I know, I know, this still doesn’t make sense.  Why would a trade involving backup catchers be important enough to put the entire Red Sox starting lineup in limbo for the evening?  Well, apparently, there’s only one man in baseball who can catch Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball.  Varitek, who won the Gold Glove last season incidentally, won’t even try; and Mirabelli’s replacement Josh Bard failed miserably with ten passed balls in the month of April.  Go figure.

These facts combined to make it of utmost urgency that the Sox trade to bring Mirabelli back today, and to do it in time for tonight’s start.  Can catching Wakefield possibly be that difficult?  If I had known that catching a knuckleball would guarantee me a job in which I’d only have to work one out of every five nights, for the Boston Red Sox no less, I probably would have spent a little less time studying the Riemann-Stiljes Integral and a little more time playing Wiffle-Ball.  I could’ve worked that in right after helping Money Mouth and his Double Dutch jump-roping career.